When they weren’t on duty, members of the North Carolina National Guard used to keep their uniforms and equipment at their homes. There were no lockers in the armories, and it seemed simple enough for soldiers to store their gear at home. But when soldiers went AWOL, or left the service, or moved away, their valuable uniforms and equipment often went with them. Adding to the loss, each instance of missing gear required a costly formal investigation. Altogether the Guard was losing $4 to $5 million in uniforms, equipment, and investigation costs.
The simple solution proposed by a Special Projects Team: Install lockers in the armories. When soldiers leave, for whatever reason, their uniforms and equipment stay behind in the locker. The savings would add up quickly. But this raised another question – was there sufficient room in the Guard’s seventy-seven armory buildings to install lockers? As the team analyzed the available storage space, they came up with some unexpected locker locations involving firing ranges and shipping containers. Read the full story at http://1.usa.gov/1IzWO3k .
Photo © Burlingham – Fotolia
They say a rising tide lifts all boats, and as the economy continues to improve, one of those rising boats is commercial office space. Nationally, office rents rose an average of 3% in 2014, and in high-demand areas such as Texas and the Bay Area the increase was over 7%. As job growth surges, the already-low vacancy rate will continue to decline, pushing rents even higher. If you’re in the commercial real estate business, things are looking great for 2015, as Nadja Brandt reports in Businessweek: http://buswk.co/1DrjFOt .
However, if your company is trying to accommodate a workforce expansion without a corresponding office space expansion, you may be playing “Office Tetris” – trying to fit many more desks and filing cabinets into an already crowded office. Rather than renting additional space, some fiscally prudent office managers are turning to high density storage systems and mobile reconfigurable workstations to boost the efficient use of their existing space. This video shows “Tetris cheats” for fitting many workstations into a small space: http://vimeo.com/99738757. Now you can put down the game controller and get back to work.
Photo © JcJg Photography – Fotolia
Tetris® is a registered trademark of The Tetris Company, LLC
Facilities managers know time is of the essence. Whether it’s a burned-out light bulb or a burst pipe, repairs have to happen fast. Supplies of spare parts, strategically distributed around the facility, allow for quick response. But where and how are these spare parts stored?
Writing in FacilitiesNet, Frank Murphy, CPMM, recommends analyzing the unique needs of the facility before deciding on storage. Do you have an older building requiring hard-to-find spare parts? Are there a number of buildings spread over a campus? With a needs analysis in hand, a facilities manager can then allocate storage space in optimal locations, and choose the right storage fixtures for the job, whether it’s a high density system to keep many spare parts in a compact area, or an adaptive modular system for frequent changes, or a heavy duty rack system for industrial parts. With ready access and a sufficient parts inventory, you can be prepared for the next broken HVAC unit, or faulty circuit board, or broken door handle, or any of the thousand things that facilities managers deal with every day. Read the complete story at http://bit.ly/1Kn7KDo .
Photo © Moreno Soppelsa – Fotolia
The new year is a good time to pause for reflection, a time for business owners and managers to consider the best use of resources, whether human or facilities. For companies considering starting or expanding a telecommuting plan, self-knowledge is the key to successful telecommuting, according to Forbes contributor Meghan M. Biro. Some personalities are more productive in a group; others work better alone. Some jobs can happen anywhere; others require office space. A thorough assessment of your corporate culture and your employees will tell you whether telecommuting is killing your business (as Yahoo’s Marissa Meyers determined) or whether it can help you retain your best employees, motivate new hires, save office space costs, and make your business thrive. Read the full story at http://onforb.es/1BdO12W.
And while you’re contemplating the pros and cons of telecommuting, think about the physical equipment needed to support employees’ work. Can high-density storage, reconfigurable modular cabinetry, and mobile workbenches and work spaces help support your 2015 telecommuting plan?
Photo © Paul Maguire – Fotolia